Golang Tips & Tricks #3 - graceful shutdown

In the microservices’ world, one thing what’s worth considering is a graceful shutdown. This is important to not lose data while shutting down a container. The container orchestrator like Kubernetes can restart the container by sending SIGTERM or SIGINT signal. Those signals can be handled to safely close all connections and finish background tasks.

Signals are propagated using os.Signal channel. You can add the above code to your main.

var gracefulStop = make(chan os.Signal)
signal.Notify(gracefulStop, syscall.SIGTERM)
signal.Notify(gracefulStop, syscall.SIGINT)

Then, we need a goroutine to handle signals.

go func() {
       sig := <-gracefulStop
       // handle it
       os.Exit(0)
}()

If we serve the HTTP server, the first thing we can do is shutdowning the server.

go func() {
       sig := <-gracefulStop
       server.Shutdown(ctx)
       // handle it
       os.Exit(0)
}()

It will shut down the server without interrupting any active connections. But what about the background tasks? There are, at least, 3 approaches I found which solves the problem.

Wait!

You can add a time.Sleep(2*time.Second) statement and just exit. I personally don’t like the solution because some tasks may need more than X seconds. On the other hand, setting to high sleep time is not a good idea eather. This is definitely the easiest way of doing it.

Use channels

An another way you can achieve the goal is using channels. Here’s how it works: you create two channels. The first one will communicate tell goroutines that it’s time to stop and the second that time’s up and we’re exiting.

var closing = make(chan struct{})
var done = make(chan struct{})

// pass both channels to background processes

go func() {
       sig := <-gracefulStop
       closing <- struct{}
       time.Sleep(2*time.Second)
       done <- struct{}
       os.Exit(0)
}()

Thank’s to this, all background tasks have 2 seconds to finish up their work and then we exit.

Wait groups

The sync package has the WaitGroup. The WaitGroup waits for a collection of goroutines to finish. The idea behind it is to create the WaitGroup in the main file and pass it to background tasks. And after that, we call Wait() function after receiving the closing signal.

wg := sync.WaitGroup{}

// pass both wait group to background channels

go func() {
       sig := <-gracefulStop
       wg.Wait()
       os.Exit(0)
}()

If you kwno other approaches, just leave a message in the comment’s section.

Tags: #golang